Guess what next month is, scribblers? NaNoWriMo! Here again, already! I'm still trying to figure out how I'll take part, as I'm already up to my elbows in a novel I have no intention of finishing in one month, but I thought I'd help anyone taking part with another tip.
I've started keeping journals while writing for several reasons, and here they are:
#1: I can track my progress.
At the end of the day, I record what page I've finished the day's work on. This is mainly to help me realize that I am going somewhere, which is a morale boost when I'm stuck. I might be in the middle of writer's block, but even one page means I'm still moving forward. It also keeps me motivated; seeing that I've written ten pages one day helps push me to write even more the next. That's how you get stuff done!
#2: I can record all of my ideas in one place as they come to me.
Isn't it genius? I used to have a separate notebook made up of loose pages that had notes for every single story I was working on. That worked fine, but as I got more and more ideas it was harder to keep them all organized, and sometimes pages went missing, and other disasters. Trust me, this works much better! In the middle of working, I can have a sudden epiphany, be it related to plot, character, theme, or even a good bit of dialogue, and I can jot it down knowing all I have to do is flip back to the page in the book already dedicated to the story I'm working on. It's come in handy several times already!
#3: I have a way to remember the journey itself.
This reason is purely sentimental. My stories are my children, and where parents can take pictures of their kids as they grow, I can write down everything about mine as it grows. Every idea, struggle, and emotional upheaval is written so I can go back and remember everything about writing a particular book. Kinda dorky, but it is what it is.
#4: I have a place to work through writer's block.
This has been a life saver! If I'm stuck, just muddling through the problem helps, and I can dump all my random thoughts out on one page and sift through them later until I find gold. Make sense?
There you have it! Happy scribbling, and good luck!